Dr. Crowder

On my interview day I discovered that, in the process of becoming a rigorous and stellar Internal Medicine department, UVA has not lost sight of the humanity and joy that medicine brings to so many of us. These were people with whom I couldn’t wait to work, learn, and play.

Elizabeth Crowder, MD

Elizabeth Crowder, MD, PGY-3

At the beginning of the residency research and application process, my goal was to find a program that was thriving academically, with a strong emphasis on resident education and learning. I approached my years of residency as a time to become the absolute best physician I could be, and wanted to do that in an academically rigorous environment with top-notch clinicians and educators. I assumed that such an environment would necessitate some compromise and sacrifice with regards to resident and faculty energy, friendliness, wellness, and overall happiness. The integration of both seemed unattainable. UVA was my first interview of the season. I took away an incredible feeling of balance. This was a place where expectations were high and hard work, education, research, and patient care were integral, but it was also a community whose members identified resident and faculty happiness, energy, and camaraderie as key components to a strong department. Collegiality among all levels of trainees and faculty was palpable throughout my day here, and UVA’s reputation for consistently producing field-leading physicians is obvious.

Now a few months into my intern year, I can say that this sense of balance is real. There is such respect and collegiality between all members of the healthcare team, and throughout my rotations on the wards and in the clinics I have found myself surrounded by people who are intelligent, hardworking, and nice. The 1:1 resident to intern structure on the inpatient wards was one aspect of UVA that was particularly appealing to me. Working side-by-side with an upper-level resident has made the transition from student to resident relatively smooth; while my upper-level resident always encourages me to think and construct differentials on my own, he or she is consistently there to answer any question, from the mundane (how to navigate the computer) to the clinically complex (approach to a decompensating patient). Another impressive feature of the program is its integration of education into resident daily life. From formal daily conferences led by our chief residents to the informal “chalk talks” by attendings, fellows, and upper-level residents, there are so many opportunities to increase my knowledge base while still taking care of my patients. I am consistently struck by the excitement that my fellow residents and attendings have for medicine and their patients, and it is quite refreshing to be among such an academically curious group who still finds time to laugh and smile.

While my fellow residents are consistently happy inside the hospital, we also have fun leaving and exploring beautiful Charlottesville. The city and surrounding area make it easy to enjoy your day or weekend off. I have particularly enjoyed visiting many of the vineyards and breweries within a short drive of the city limits and have been able to take advantage of some of the beautiful nearby hikes. The historic UVA grounds also offer many opportunities and amenities and is a charming place for an evening stroll after work. On any given weekend (or weeknight!), there is often a group of residents heading out to one of the downtown bars or restaurants. I feel so lucky to have found such a great group of residents and friends with whom to share this experience. I am so excited to see what the next three years hold for all of us, and I couldn’t imagine going through this experience with a different group of people. Making the UVA internal medicine department my home and family has been a fantastic decision and one for which I am daily thankful.